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In Their Own Words

July 06, 1862

Civil War Soldier Wrote of Seeing Carnage after Battles

A Georgia soldier writing home to his wife told of the carnage he had witnessed on the battlefields of Virginia.

“…we scoured the woods beyond the battleground a mile beyond. I could see evidences of the damage done to the enemy : bloody clothes thrown off, guns cast away, a dead or wounded here and there in the woods, every house and outhouse and barn had the wounded [or] dead in and around. Inside the floor was said to [be] covered. I did [not] desire to look inside. Other parts of the woods through which [I] did not pass report the dead and wounded of the enemy to be much more numerous, men and horses rotting together. …”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), “Dear Mother: Don’t grieve about me. If I get killed, I’ll only be dead.”: Letters from Georgia Soldiers in the Civil War (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), p. 164.